The Highway Man by J. Alchem Review. 

​Author: J. Alchem

Publication date: 12th May, 2017

Length: 68 Pages

What is it about? 

The whole world is upside down. People are walking in the sky with the ground moving above their heads. And the reason is simple; a bestselling author is in love. But why the whole world is inverted? What’s so special about this love? Or worse?

A man throws his masculine brain and heart aside and fixes a feminine one there. And the reason is simple; he wants to live the life of his lover, for 24 hours. But why does he want to do that? What’s the need?

A man, neatly dressed in a suit, is playing with his bowler hat, on a highway at dawn. And the reason is simple; he needs a lift. But why does he need a lift? What’s his purpose?


LazyScoop Review:
The Highway man is a collection of beautiful, and amazing stories. Beautiful because the writer has written it in an enticing way. The language, the words, overall naration flows smoothly. I liked the variety of tales, each one is of a different genre. First one is intriguing, and unexpected Twist. Second one, Is Romantic and the Third one is Philosophical. 
The book has three short stories titled Catherine, Sidzy for a day, and The Highway Man which is also the title of the book. Read on to know what I think about each of the story. 


Catherine
:

 This is a story of Dr.Rusenvelt, Who encounters a mysterious case one day about his favourite author. What happens when a Writer falls in love with a fictional character of his own book? The narration of the story is smooth and flowy and has a shocking climax to it. I really loved the concept of this story.

Sidzy, for a day: 

This is a perfect romantic story about Jihan and Sidzy. They both are characters which anyone on this planet would love to have in their life. Sidzy is a charming girl who doesn’t take the love shown on her for granted, especially because of her past. Jihaan is a man, who knows how to care and love his girl. It’s a story which surely will touch the romantic chords of the readers.

The Highway Man

This story is full of twists. A man who lost his wife, his son who hasn’t been able to come out of trauma. Until, a man comes in their life to change it completely. I am not going to say the protagonist’s name, that’s also a twist here. This definitely is the best story among the three, its emotional and engaging. Its sprinkled with some philosophy as well, which would definitely stay with you after you finish the book. 

LazyScoop Verdict:

Overall The Highway man is an interesting book with engaging stories written with heartfelt emotions. Read it if you like reading short stories and want to have a quick one hour read. 

Ratings:


Cover
: 4/5 Stars


Plot of all stories: 
4/5 stars


Narrative
: 4/5 Stars


Characters
– 3.5/5 Stars


Entertainment
: 3.5/5 Stars


Overall Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


The Highway Man, recommended by LazyScoop if you want to read Short Stories with twists! 


You can buy this ebook by clicking on this link at just Rs. 49/-

The Four Patriots by Sumit Agarwal Review. 

Author: Sumit Agarwal

Genre: Contemporary Political Thriller

Pages: 306

Publishers: Rupa Publications India

This book had released few months ago and has been the talk of the literary world since then. It’s reached the Amazon Best Sellers list in a very short time. All the book reviewers are showering praises on it and so I was really curious to know what this book is all about. I got the chance to read it. Read on to know what I think! 

Blurb:

Have you ever fallen victim to the system? Felt humiliated and helpless? Have you fought back? 

Meet four such patriots: Varun, an NRI software engineer; Salman, CEO of Coffee Moments; Raghav, a virtuous politician and Aditya, an altruistic businessman. 

Fate brings these four lives together at a crossroads, pushing these unlikely heroes out of their comfort zones to fight a seemingly unstoppable evil force which wants to hold our country captive. The four companions, who have always had each other’s back, will now come face-to-face with the biggest challenge of their lives—a labyrinthine plot rife with perilous twists and wicked turns. With the nation’s future at stake, will they be able to destroy the Chakravyuh intricately laid down by the enemies of India? Will they come out of it alive? 

A story about friendship, faith and courage, replete with romance and patriotism, The Four Patriots is a racy, contemporary thriller sure to give you goose bumps. Pick this book if you do not believe ‘is desh ka kuch nahin ho sakta’; and if you think all is not lost, this is a must-read!



What is it about? 

The four patriots is the thrilling Journey of four individuals who are disappointed with the current Indian Political scenario and are challenged by various incidents to take things in their hands and change it. They have to face many obstacles from various powerful and selfish people who think about themselves more than their country. Will the Four Patriots succeed in changing the system? Will they be able to tackle the conspiracies against them? 

 

LazyScoop Review:

‘The four patriots immediately grasps your attention from the first chapter itself. The introduction of all characters is not limited to their traits, each character has depth and there are various such situations they come across which triggers their motivation to get into the corrupt political system and change it. I liked how the prologue ends on a cliffhanger point which makes you keep reading to reach the end and know the suspense about one of the protagonist getting shot. But by whom? Why? Does he die? 
Characterization is one of the key elements in this book. Each character has been well defined, their backstories justify their behaviour perfectly. E.g Salman’s badass character is really fun to read about. You get emotionally connected with Raghav after his backstory is revealed. Varun Panga Pandey’s boldness and Aditya’s smartness also impressed me. Though my most favourite character is Salman. He’s bold and believes in tit for tat, many readers would easily relate to his character. 

As far as the story is concerned, it’s compelling! And the doses of twists and turns are unpredictable and move at a very good pace, sure to keep you at the edge and hooked on to the book. 

One of the best dialogues in this book is ‘Dekhna nahi, Karna hai.’ and that actually pretty much sums up the real message behind this book. 

What I didn’t like: 

I didn’t like how Varun and Alisha’s story concludes. I felt Varun was totally wrong for stopping his wife from working and yet he doesn’t seem to be genuinely sorry about it later. There should’ve been incidences where he realizes his mistake. 

LazyScoop Verdict:

I don’t know why but there was a thrilling background score playing in my mind as I kept reading this book. Shows how successful it was to engage me in the narration. 

There are many whistle worthy dialogues and moments in the book too. E.g ‘Ise Prasad Chahiye’ moment, every time the character salman says this dialogue, you jolt up with excitement! ( Is it wierd to whistle with excitement while reading a book? )
Another commendable thing about this book is how the Author has given solution to various national problems which seem practical. It shows how much intelligent the author is and how much research he has done before writing this book. Who could’ve better reviewed the book than Late Mr. Om puri who says it to be- “Thrilling to the core. A must-read.” Kudos to Author Sumit Agarwal, though this being his debut book, he has written it in a way at par with many seasoned Authors. 

Overall The Four Patriots is a thrilling and inspiring story of Patriotism which is not just limited to facebook comments and cricket, Friendship and Romance. The message and the characters stay in your mind even after you finish reading it. 

The Four Patriots, Absolutely recommended by LazyScoop!



Cover: 5/5 Stars

Plot: 5/5 stars

Narrative Style: 4.5/5 stars

Characterization: 5/5 Stars

Entertainment: 4.5/5 Stars

LazyScoop Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 

You can buy this book from this link, for a discounted price of Rs. 65/- Hurry! 

Graveyard Shift Anthology Book Review. 

Today I am going to review the latest release by Half Baked Beans Publishing, ‘Graveyard Shift’ by Manish Mahajan. It’s an Anthology of short stories and as the name suggests the genre is Horror. 

Author: Manish Mahajan

Publishers: Half Baked Beans

Price: 149/- 

Number of pages- 182

Blurb:

At around midnight, I woke up suddenly. A strange sound was coming from nowhere outside in the passage. I sat up dazed. The curtains were a little ajar letting the moonlight to streak in. I got up to investigate where that noise was coming from. The passageway was almost dark, just a single lamp was left switched on for the night. The sound seemed to be coming from one of the rooms. That was strange, I thought, as there was no one else staying on this floor. All of a sudden, something moved behind me. Turning around I got the shock of my life. Some distance away, in that dreary passageway, stood a figure dressed in flowing white robes, staring hard at me.


LazyScoop Review:

Manish Mahajan’s Graveyard Shift is a a complete package of horror and spooky stories to horrify and at the same time amaze you. Each story has been well written and have uncertain twists which mystifies the reader. It comprises of 7 Short Stories and one Poem which successfully scare you. Lets have a look at what I think about each story:

The Appointment:

It’s a horrifying poem with a scary plot. It’s about a friend who is dead but has his appointment scheduled to meet the poet. Does he come back from the dead to meet him? 

Honey, ‘m back!

The first short story from the book starts with a normal tone but later turns into a scary revenge drama. This story is horrifying but seems a little bit unbelievable. But the description of the resort before each scene began did scare me.

Tales in the Train:

An overnight train, and five passengers sharing their personal encounter with ghosts and spirits. This is one of my favorites because it begins with a predictable bollywood style plot but ends with a confounding twist. Also the information about chudails: Pichal peri etc doubles up your curiosity to know more about what the story is going to bring further. 


A Night in the Hastings’s House:

A team of 10 people from the organisation ‘Ghost Hunters Of India’ go to Warren Hasting’s erstwhile Bungalow in Alipore, Kolkata to conduct their paranormal investigation when suddenly things go horribly wrong. I felt this story had the most unique plot and it had a suspense factor which you’ll know when you read the book. The information about who warren Hasting was and some historical information makes the story more believable.


A doll named Wendy: 

How can there be horror story and no mention of one of the most haunted places on earth? Yes, I am talking about Bhangarh Fort. I had read the blurb on the index page and was very keen to read this story. And it lived to my expectation. Its a story about Tara who loves her doll wendy, Saloni a small girl picks up that same doll from Bhangarh, but how come the doll reached there? And what frightening incidents happen between Tara and Saloni for their possessiveness for the doll? Read this book and find out. I enjoyed it, this short story kept me at the edge, and I couldn’t stop but finish it in one go. 

The last wish: 

This story was again horrifying and the narration was written in first person due to which it was even more scarier because we connect with the character and experience the same eeriness which he does in this story. I liked how the main character’s dialogues and narration was written. The whole concept was mysterious, scary and fun to read. Especially the last mirror entering concept was new. ( Not giving any spoilers here!)

The Apartment on the Tenth Floor:

This story is about Ravi and Gaurav, two best friends. How one day Ravi encounters a murder in the opposite building and how his life is gradually changed upside down. Moreover, he sees it eveyday! What’s the mystery behind it? This would be my most favourite story from the book. Because this one is not only scary but has emotional elements too. It is also informative about what crossover means, what does cold room and strange rotten smell indicate, etc Though this is a short story, the writer has not tried to jump from one scene to another. Each incident is well outlined and narrated. 

Betal Pachisi:

Although I knew the basic storyline, I liked how the author has written it from King Vikramaditya’s point of view. As if it’s him narrating the incident. And the details about the encounter with Aghori was indeed scary. 

LazyScoop Verdict:

Overall Graveyard shift is high on entertainment. The author has not only written frightening stories, but also added facts and information about dead world which multiplies the impact of the tales. It gave me sleepless nights. Get your hands on this book if you are fan of the horror genre, and even if you’re not, this book is so good, it will make you one. 

Graveyard Shift Anthology, recommended by LazyScoop!

3.5/ 5 Stars.


You can order the book by clicking here on this link.

Happy Reading. And Happy World Book Day! We readers celebrate it daily with our books. 😉 

Love,

Pratik Jadhav